NFL Standings, Week 10: Kansas City Chiefs emerge as clear leader atop AFC
By Drew Brooks
Week 10 is in the books and the Kansas City Chiefs have emerged as the clear leader atop the AFC. Let’s look at the rest of the NFL standings.
Heading into week 10, the Kansas City Chiefs were one game ahead of the New England Patriots, but the Patriots had the tiebreaker given their 43-40 victory over K.C. However, after the Tennessee Titans upset the Patriots on Sunday, the Chiefs now have room to lose a game and still hold first place in the AFC.
While the Patriots lost to the Titans in Nashville, the Chiefs stayed at Arrowhead and got an easy win against the Arizona Cardinals. Elsewhere in the AFC, the Los Angeles Chargers visited the Oakland Raiders and came away with the win. The Raiders thought they had a shot early on, heading into the final minutes of the second half tied at 3 all, but the Chargers scored and quickly crushed that dream. The Denver Broncos had a bye this week.
Most Chiefs fans looked at the Cardinals as a bye week in preparation for the Los Angeles Rams next week because the Cardinals have looked awful all season. This largely turned out to be the case, even though the final score made the game look closer than it really was. While the game wasn’t very exciting except for the first series, the Chiefs were eventually able to put the Cardinals away.
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The Chiefs defense had perhaps its best outing of the year. Linebacker Justin Houston and cornerback Steven Nelson each got an interception, while the pass rush completely dominated the quarterback Josh Rosen and the Cardinals. Linebacker Dee Ford continued his great season and was all over Rosen, generations pressure almost a fourth of the snaps he played. Per NFL’s Next Gen Stats, the Chiefs pass rush a whole pressured Rosen on over 50% of Rosen’s dropbacks, the highest of any team this season.
The Chiefs offense got off to a red-hot start, scoring within the first minute of the game. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill was the beneficiary of this start, two passes to make up the 75 yards to the end zone. He ended the day with 7 catches for 117 yards and 2 touchdowns. Running back Kareem Hunt cooled off after two great weeks, rushing 16 times for 71 yards and catching 2 passes for 25 yards.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes had a good day, completing 21/28 passes for 249 yards and 2 touchdowns, while also breaking his five-game streak of throwing an interception. Another streak he snapped, this time negative, was throwing for 300 yards or more. Prior to this game, he was on an eight-game streak of throwing for at least 300 yards. However, perhaps the most surprising broken streak (or not, as it was statistically supposed to happen) was the fact that the Chiefs lost their first coin toss of the season. Despite this, however, the Chiefs cruised to victory over the Cardinals 26-14.
The Raiders faced the chargers at home and continued to struggle offensively. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr completed 24/37 attempts for 243 yards but was unable to find the end zone throughout the game. Running back Doug Martin led the Raiders backfield again, but punter Johnny Townsend stole the show with a 42-yard rush on a fake punt. The Raiders ultimately only scored a pair of field goals and lost 20-6.
The Chargers made all of their kicks! Perhaps their new kicker Michael Badgley might be the solution to their kicking woes. However, knowing the Chargers’ history, it’s too early to get any hopes up. Quarterback Philip Rivers threw for 223 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception on 18/26 completions. Running back Melvin Gordon had another great game, rushing 18 times for 93 yards and catching 5 passes for 72 yards and 1 touchdown. Through the Chargers only put up 10 points in each half, they cruised to victory against a struggling Raiders team and won 20-16.
Here are the NFL standings around the league: